Nigeria receives US$550mn from China to fund two satellites for Nigcomsat

satellites communications africaThe new deal will see US$550mn of funds go towards the purchase of two additional satellites for subsequent launch into the space in the next two years

The minister of communications, Adebayo Shittu, made the statement following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari. He noted that both the China Exim Bank and China Great Walls, the manufacturers, had come to an agreement to fund the project 100 per cent following Nigeria's inability to fulfill the initial agreement it reached with China to provide 15 per cent of the US$550mn.

According to Buhari, Nigeria's satellite communications have been ineffective because the federal government-owned satellite company, NigComSat, has only one satellite which he said could not guarantee the confidence of potential customers.

The trend, he said, led to companies operating in Nigeria to purchase satellite communications data abroad. He continued by saying that after the formal signing of agreement for the take-off of the project on 27 January, the manufacturing of the satellites will commence.

"Already, we have one satellite over the last seven years. Having two new ones is to ensure that the Nigerian satellite company can conquer the entire African continent with regards to the provision of satellite communication services.

"It is a very big business opportunity and I am sure that the Chinese appreciate the potential market that is so versed and that is why they agreed in spite of our inability to provide 15 per cent, that they are prepared to bring the entire sum of US$550mn for the procurement of the two satellites."

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